A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

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DrPaul
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A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by DrPaul » Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:43 pm

Don't know if any of you are Tex Murphy fans, or even heard of Tex Murphy, but the TM series has suffered much the same fate as Zork - Game creators bought-out by bigger company who the scuttles series.  Ten years since last installment.

Naturally, the fans haven't given up and want to create a fan-based game to keep the flame alive.  The same as here, high hopes of making a state-of-the-art, 3D graphic game, maybe even full motion video is inevitably the game's undoing.  It's just too much to chew.

Recently, I came up with an idea over at unofficialTexMurphy.com which I think has a lot of potential.

One of the Tex Murphy games (The Pandora Directive) was very closely based on a novel of the same name by Aaron Conners.  Although most of the novel is represented in the game, there are several 'scenes' in the novel that are glossed over in the game.  I have taken a couple of these skipped scenes and brought them to life in very short interactive fiction games which you can play on line from my website.

The beauty of this concept is that since the novel is, of course, written in text, the location descriptions, objects, dialog, etc., can all be cut and pasted directly from the novel into the game.  This makes creating the game a breeze and it enables fans of the games to play out many of the scenes that were not playable in the original graphic game.

Check out these short demos here:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pdrallos1 ... andora.htm for Chapter 11 and here:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pdrallos1 ... ndora2.htm for Chapter 12.

In the original graphic game these scenes were replaced with two or three lines of narration with no input from the player.

It seems to me that we could do something like this with Zork.  Instead of trying to take on a complete game, which is more than we can handle, why don't we zoom in on some scenes that we know happened but were never interactively played out in the games?

What say you?

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by DataAngel » Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:13 am

I think that is a reasonable idea. There has been a lot of games that have started doing episodic content... who says we cannot do it that way. We can do it graphically but can focus on only small portions of the storyline. As the story progresses we have the option to do more and more if we can.

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by Siriusstar » Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:46 am

Sounds like a great idea to me. Zork has quite an extensive backstory to draw from for inspiration, too. In the packaging, the histories and in the games themselves. Perhaps something about the size of TUU might work?

I played all the Tex Murphy games back when they came out. I swear I even read one of the books... didn't both games have accompanying novels? It's been too long for me to remember the details, though.

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by DrPaul » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:04 am

I played all the Tex Murphy games back when they came out. I swear I even read one of the books... didn't both games have accompanying novels? It's been too long for me to remember the details, though.  
Yes, it's true that Under a Killing Moon was also based on a novel of the same name.  The distinction I made for the Pandora Directive is that Pandora much more closely followed the novel than UAKM did.  But you are right.  Both those games were based on novels.  

There were actually two other Tex Murphy games before UAKM and another one that followed Pandora.

The first two games were called Mean Streets and Martian Memorandom.  They were significantly different than the later games because the earlier ones featured 2 dimensional game play from a 3rd-person perspective and Tex Murphy was a sprite that the player controlled.  

The last Tex Murphy game was called Overseer.  It was much like UAKM and PD.  It's story was essentially a retelling of Mean Streets.  Overseer ended in a cliff-hanger, and left us fans hanging for many years until the game creators produced a radio-theater episode to tie-up loosed ends.

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by DrPaul » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:39 am

I am glad you guys like this idea.  I think it is a way we can resurrect the fan-game in a manner that has a good chance of success.  I think we have many options and wouldn't necessarily have to be restricted to one.

Let me just list a few possibilities:

1. Very small episode that fills in the blanks from one of the graphic games.  For instance, remember when we free Jack from his cell near the end of GI.  Jack runs off and rescues all our stuff and brings it to us while we're still waiting outside our cell.  He even does all his own stunts!  We have a floor plan from the game for the whole prison, we could do that whole scene from Jack's perspective.  I'll bet that is something that is within our ability to do graphically.

2. There are several short stories that are described in the Zork games.  For example, the tale about how Yoruk follows the demon into Hades.  We could do that graphically or as a tex adventure.  Or we could piece together the events between the Alchemists and Lucien or the girl (forget her name) which occurred before Nemesis.  We watch them on video, but we don't get to 'play' them.

3. There are a few Zork novels and several Zork fan-fiction stories.  As I demonstrate in my Tex Murphy demos, it is very easy to adapt novels and short stories into text adventures.  It's text-to-text.  The programming is very easy to learn and since we would all be using the same text (the novel or short story) we could have multiple people doing the programming for different locations to cut down the individual work loads and time, but the result would still have good continuity since we'd all be using the same text.

We could mabe get a few things going since they are all bite-sized projects and maybe we could turn out a lot of new Zork stuff.

What do you think?
Last edited by DrPaul on Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by DataAngel » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:33 am

Sounds like a good idea! I'd prefer graphical naturally. ::)

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by DrPaul » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:47 am

I'm continuing this thread over on Zork Chat since we have turned the corner to Zork.
It will be under the topic "Bite-sized fan games".

Not that this thread has to die.  For instance, have any of you guys played the short Tex Murphy games I posted on my website.

If not, why not?  (I'm not taking no for an answer.)
Last edited by DrPaul on Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by DataAngel » Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:37 pm

Hmm... how about 'on' then. :-[

I've been too busy for much.

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Re: A short Tex Murphy demo by DrPaul

Post by Siriusstar » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:01 am

Not that this thread has to die.  For instance, have any of you guys played the short Tex Murphy games I posted on my website.

If not, why not?  (I'm not taking no for an answer.)
I haven't yet because I've been running around all over the northeast for the last month! Seriously.  I'll have a look when I'm caught up with everything I've been neglecting while on the road to all my plays and concerts.

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